Friday, January 19, 2007

Obviously I Have No Life

For the first time in a long time I have succumbed to the siren call of John Scalzi's weekend assignment.  I found the philosophical cunundrum he posited this week kind of amusing.

Weekend Assignment #148: Cats. Cheese. There's only enough room on the planet for one of them -- and you have to decide which stays and which goes. Which do you choose and why? Now, you ask, why cats and cheese? Well, why not? People like cats; people like cheese. They're generally considered to be unrelated. Having to choose one over the other sort of gives you insight into your soul, about what's really important to you. Or, alternately, it's just fun to consider. Really, let's not pretend we're doing anything too deep here.

For clarity's sake, when we say "cats" we mean domestic cats; lions and tiger and cheetahs and such will still be about, so you don't have to worry about taking out a whole bunch of endangered species. When we say "cheese" we mean all cheese, even the stuff that comes out of aerosol cans and/or is spelled "cheez." It all goes.

Extra Credit: what's your favorite breed of cat and/or type of cheese?

Mrs. Linklater replies:
Cats or cheese? Hair balls or green mold? Which one gets tossed off the planet? This question, while only for argument's sake, still manages to evoke memories of noxious feline aromas. Kitty peep and poop being the most obvious. But spoiled milk smells are also curdled in my memory. Cheeses too, despite their elevation to gourmet status, can smell just as awful as anything a cat can deposit on your good rug.

I'm reminded of the eyewatering fumes which occur immediately after food poisoning has caused you to expurgate an offensive meal into the porcelain bowl. When the sour odeur of partial digestion begins to waft up into your nostrils. That cheese smell.

But, why linger on the icky stuffwhen we can turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of each and reflect on the best of both.

Cats are soft and furry. Is there anything more appealing? Cheese, on the other hand, does not taste very good when it's soft and furry. Unfortunately, cats can also bite. Not a good recommendation. A bite of cheese, however, can be as wonderful as a sip of fine wine. Cats have always had an endearing way of waking me up in the morning by licking me on the nose. Unfortunately, waking up to cheese on my nose doesn't have the same appeal. But slices of cheese and fruit with flavored crackers sound delicious for breakfast or a light lunch. When a cat cuts the cheese, by comparison, I generally lose my appetite for all food.

When all is said and done, I'll stick with cats. Preferably half Siamese kitties. You can have the all the cheese. Even those one of a kind artisan wheels from Wisconsin.

Cats have so much more to offer than cheese. Personality, for instance. And don't forget purring. Can you snuggle with a slice of cheese? Talk to it when you come home from work? Listen to it hum next to you in complete contentment? 

If you can, well, let's not go there.

Cheese is just a delivery system for chunks of concentrated cholesterol. Camembert, Stilton and cheddar aren't looking out for our best interests. And just when was the last time a block of cheese could tell you there was a mouse in the house? Or get rid of it for you?

Cats make themselves useful creating warm spots for us where we sit and lie down. Cheese has never been that thoughtful. Cats are considered members of our families for life, except in certain countries, which shall remain nameless, but one of them rhymes with Dinah. I don't know any cheese that I'd like to have loitering in my refrigerator more than a month or two. And even that's pushing it.

Of course, as much as I prefer cats, when the cheese is gone, I will miss snacking on smoked gouda and apples during the Bears' games. And there's nothing quite like a slice of brie on a cracker with a bit of chutney.

Yep, I have no llife.


jayveerhapsody said...

You've succeeded in giving three colorful dimensions to an incredibly stupid weekend assignment! I live with a cat, whom I love dearly - - but ONE is enough. I couldn't possibly handle more. I'll take the cheese, I guess. But NO "cheez" in aerosol cans!!      Jon

mosie1944 said...

Even though I've been housebound for most of the last 10 days, I passed on this assignment.  It's just too silly, and I refuse to make a choice.  I'd be much better off without cheese on the planet, because it's one of my constant cravings.  Especially melted all over the top of a Pizza Hut pan pizza.  

I've seen what my barn is like with no cats (you could actually SMELL mice, there were so many).

Anyway.  I won't choose.

cberes1 said...

How could anyone even QUESTION this???  Who could possibly kick sweet little kitties off the planet??  She says as one kitty sits on my keyboard and the other is warming the couch for me.  Choose between cheese and gotta be kidding.  No contest.  What a no brainer assignment! cathyb

suzypwr said...

I really have a dilemma. I am allergic to cats and can't stand cheese.

Good thing I simply enjoyed your writing on this one!